We arrange and pay for bed and breakfast, one night at a time, for clients referred to us by our voluntary sector partner agencies. The average length of stay is only 2 nights; this gives both client and agency a bit of breathing space and time to seek other solutions.
Andy was referred to StopGap by one of the nightly soup runs in Sheffield. He had been sleeping rough in a disused school building for some time. After losing his job, he was thrown out by his partner – who remained in the family home with their children. Andy wanted to stay nearby, so he could see his children on their way to and from school, but without an address of his own, he was forbidden access to them by the courts.
After just one night in StopGap accommodation, which gave him a shower and laundry facilities in addition to a good night’s sleep and a cooked breakfast, Andy gained the confidence to go and apply to the city council for housing. In due course this was successful and Andy managed to establish his own home and eventually regain regular access to his children.
Just one night in safe, warm accommodation made all the difference in his case.
Brian, who had also lost his job and subsequently fallen into rent arrears, was referred to StopGap by one of the day centres working with homeless people in the city.
After a couple of nights in a warm bed, the welfare officer at the centre was able to find him supported accommodation at Emmaus Sheffield where Brian is now said to be doing well. He has regular work and is making friends with some of the other residents.
Christina found herself in a desperate situation when her partner suddenly became very aggressive toward her. She had come with him to England from Bulgaria after he got a UK work permit. Being from Bulgaria, Christina was not able to access public funds and so she was not eligible for help in a refuge for victims of domestic violence.
When homelessness seemed like a certainty, StopGap was the only organisation in Sheffield able and willing to keep her safe and off the streets while longer term arrangements could be made.
These are just some of the examples; there are so many other similar cases
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If you would like to apply to become a member of StopGap, please complete and return the following form to us at our Registered Office address – c/o The Sheffield Cathedral Archer Project, Sheffield Cathedral, Church Street, Sheffield S1 1HA.
StopGap (registered Charity number 1146601), started in 2010 in response to the need for emergency accommodation for homeless people in Sheffield during the coldest months of the year.
We pay for the bed and breakfast accommodation for rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping. This keeps costs to a minimum. From 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019 we provided 632 bed nights of accommodation to 265 homeless and vulnerable people.
Local agencies working with homeless and vulnerable people contact us to arrange accommodation. In general, we give people 2-3 nights, so that referral agencies have time to work with them to address longer term housing needs.
We ask the agencies to continue to work with people to resolve deeper issues like substance misuse and poor mental health.
Our work helps; it provides a moment of security which helps people to get back on their feet. And it gives our referral agencies a chance to work further with them to find longer term solutions to their accommodation and other problems.
Whilst our priority is to provide shelter for those sleeping rough during the winter, it is proved that there is a year-round need for our service and year round benefits.
Your help and support is greatly appreciated!
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